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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Company typeSocietas Europaea
IndustryMarket research
Founded1934; 90 years ago (1934)
HeadquartersNuremberg, Germany
Key people
Peter Feld (CEO)[1]

Lars Nordmark (CFO)

Thomas Ebeling (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
Revenue€1.5 Billion (2014)
€52.4 million (2014)
OwnerKohlberg Kravis Roberts
Number of employees
8,000+ (2021)[2]

GfK (originally GfK-Nürnberg Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung e.V., 'Nuremberg Society for Consumer Research') is the largest German market research company. It provides data and intelligence to the consumer goods industry and is headquartered in Nuremberg, Germany.


GfK was founded as GfK-Nürnberg Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung e. V. in 1934 by university lecturers from Nuremberg, among them the future German Minister of Economic Affairs and Federal Chancellor Ludwig Erhard. The concept was developed by co-founder Wilhelm Vershofen.[3]

Initially, the association conducted 71 different studies, including:

  • Awareness of trademarks
  • Personal care and soap consumption in Germany
  • Structure of beverage consumption in Germany
  • Patient and pharmaceuticals
  • The motorist assesses the road maps from fuel companies

After the war, GfK’s activities from 1934 to 1945 were investigated by the American occupying powers. Following this investigation, GfK received a license to continue its activities in 1947.[4]

In 1984, commercial activities were spun off into GfK GmbH, which was renamed GfK AG on January 23, 1990. At that time, the “GfK Association” was limited to promoting market and sales research.

In 2010, the company was the world's fourth-largest market research company by revenue.[5]

In December 2016, investment company American private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts made a takeover bid for 18.54 percent of the company's shares.[6]

Since March 2017, GfK SE has been majority-owned (96.7%) by the investment fund Acceleratio Capital N.V., a holding company of KKR.[7]

In the autumn of 2018, GfK’s French competitor Ipsos acquired a division of GfK with 1,000 staff dealing with client-specific projects for 105 million euros.[8]

In 2020, GfK launched gfknewron, a new AI-powered platform. Therefore, customers can access relevant data in real time and receive recommendations for action based on predictions.[9]

In July 2023, NielsenIQ (a spinoff of Nielsen), a U.S. market research and consumer intelligence company owned by Advent International, gained approval from the European Union to acquire GfK after an antitrust investigation that began in June 2023. This approval was given under the condition of selling its consumer panel business, which went to the British market research company YouGov in July 2023.[10][11]


In April 2005, it acquired NOP World (originally National Opinion Polls), based mostly in the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy, which was rated the world's ninth largest market research business.

In May 2008, it acquired an equity stake in Deep-Packet Inspection company Qosmos in order to track and monitor Internet usage for marketing research.[12]


The management team consists of nine individuals (as of 22 February 2024):[2]

  • Jim Peck (CEO)
  • Tracey Massey (COO)
  • John Blenke (Chief Legal Officer)
  • Mike Burwell (CFO)
  • Lorena Elizondo (Chief Strategy Officer)
  • Joshua Hubbert (President CMI and Media Measurement)
  • Mohit Kapoor (Chief Technology and Operations Officer)
  • Curtis Miller (Chief Transformation Officer)
  • Shaun Zitting (Chief Human Resources Officer)


GfK's core business is collecting and processing data on consumer behavior. It includes advising companies using technology-based applications.

GfK industry area include technology and consumer durables, retail, consumer goods, automotive, financial services, media and entertainment.[2]

It collects data on over 180 million SKUs and surveys over two million people in 15 countries, working in compliance with market and social research associations (such as the ESOMAR Standards) which contain mandatory requirements. It provides real-time insight into market activity. GfK enables its customers to make key business decisions in areas such as marketing and sales.[2]

Since 2020, GfK has offered its customers an AI-powered platform that uses relevant data to provide forecasts and produces recommendations to facilitate critical business decisions.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Legal | GfK Global". www.gfk.com. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  2. ^ a b c d "About GfK | Growth from Knowledge | GfK". www.gfk.com. Retrieved 2023-06-27.
  3. ^ "Gründung". NIM - Nürnberg Institut für Marktentscheidungen e.V. (in German). 2014-12-30. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  4. ^ "Entwicklung". NIM - Nürnberg Institut für Marktentscheidungen e.V. (in German). 2010-07-08. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  5. ^ "Global top 25 grow 4.1% to $18.7bn, says Honomichl - News". Archived from the original on 2012-09-19.
  6. ^ "KKR succeeds with Gfk stake purchase, clears way for turnaround". Reuters. 2017-02-11. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  7. ^ "Höhe der Barabfindung für Squeeze-out bei der GfK SE mitgeteilt". www.tagesspiegel.de (in German). Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  8. ^ "Ipsos has reached an agreement with GfK to acquire 4 global divisions of GfK Research". Retrieved 2001-06-21.
  9. ^ a b "Business Reporter: The power of evidence-based forecasting". FinanzNachrichten.de (in German). Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  10. ^ Chee, Foo Yun (2023-07-05). "Advent's NielsenIQ gains conditional EU nod for GfK acquisition". Reuters. Retrieved 2023-11-04.
  11. ^ Chee, Foo Yun (2023-06-28). "Exclusive: NielsenIQ's GfK deal set for conditional EU antitrust approval". Reuters. Retrieved 2023-11-04.
  12. ^ "Error Page" (PDF). 19 December 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 June 2014.

External links[edit]